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J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1999 Jun;15(2):133-52.

Activity and biological effects of neem products against arthropods of medical and veterinary importance.

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Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside 92521-0314, USA.


Botanical insecticides are relatively safe and degradable, and are readily available sources of biopesticides. The most prominent phytochemical pesticides in recent years are those derived from neem trees, which have been studied extensively in the fields of entomology and phytochemistry, and have uses for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The neem products have been obtained from several species of neem trees in the family Meliaceae. Six species in this family have been the subject of botanical pesticide research. They are Azadirachta indica A. Juss, Azadirachta excelsa Jack, Azadirachta siamens Valeton, Melia azedarach L., Melia toosendan Sieb. and Zucc., and Melia volkensii G├╝rke. The Meliaceae, especially A. indica (Indian neem tree), contains at least 35 biologically active principles. Azadirachtin is the predominant insecticidal active ingredient in the seed, leaves, and other parts of the neem tree. Azadirachtin and other compounds in neem products exhibit various modes of action against insects such as antifeedancy, growth regulation, fecundity suppression and sterilization, oviposition repellency or attractancy, changes in biological fitness, and blocking development of vector-borne pathogens. Some of these bioactivity parameters of neem products have been investigated at least in some species of insects of medical and veterinary importance, such as mosquitoes, flies, triatomines, cockroaches, fleas, lice, and others. Here we review, synthesize, and analyze published information on the activity, modes of action, and other biological effects of neem products against arthropods of medical and veterinary importance. The amount of information on the activity, use, and application of neem products for the control of disease vectors and human and animal pests is limited. Additional research is needed to determine the potential usefulness of neem products in vector control programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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